ECNP icons scientific topics - addiction


A non-hallucinogenic psychedelic analogue with therapeutic potential
Cameron, L.P et al., Nature, December 2020.

Recommended by Louk J.M.J. Vanderschuren, The Netherlands: `Novel pharmacological treatments for addiction are desperately needed. There is evidence that the hallucinogenic drug ibogaine has anti-addictive effects, but its therapeutic use is severely limited by its side effects. In this article, the development of a a non-hallucinogenic analogue of ibogaine is reported. This drug, called tabernanthalog, is an agonist at 5-HT2A receptors. In animal models, tabernanthalog has antidepressant effects, reduces alcohol drinking and reinstatement of heroin seeking. This study therefore provides a promising lead for further research into this potential novel drug for the treatment of addiction and depression.´

Subjective Responses to Alcohol in the Development and Maintenance of Alcohol Use Disorder
King, A et al., American Journal of Psychiatry, January 2021.

Recommended by Louk J.M.J. Vanderschuren, The Netherlands: `A rare example of a longitudinal, prospective study – studies that are highly needed, but difficult to perform – on the development of alcohol addiction in humans. It shows that a strong positive response to alcohol on initial exposure (liking, wanting, stimulation), as well as lower sedative effect predicts development of alcohol use disorder in a 10-year follow-up. Moreover, in the group that developed an alcohol use disorder, motivational properties of alcohol increased over time.

Habit, choice, and addiction
Vandaele, Y & S. Ahmed, H, Neuropsychopharmacology, November 2020.

Recommended by Louk J.M.J. Vanderschuren, The Netherlands: ´An outstanding, balanced commentary on the – often hotly debated – habit account of addiction. Not only does it appropriately list both the experimental evidence in favour or against a role of habits in addiction, Vandaele and Ahmed also attempt to reconcile these by providing explanations for the discrepant data, as well as thoughtful recommendations for future research.´

Improving translation of animal models of addiction and relapse by reverse translation
Venniro, M, et al., Nature Reviews Neuroscience, October 2020.

Recommended by Louk J.M.J. Vanderschuren, The Netherlands: ´A comprehensive – almost encyclopedic – overview of animal models of addiction, including work in rodents as well as non-human primates, brain mechanisms as well as drug targets identified. It lists drug targets that have failed in humans (there are many), and at the same time point out areas for future research, with a focus on improved translation.´

Controlled drinking—non‐abstinent versus abstinent treatment goals in alcohol use disorder: a systematic review, meta‐analysis and meta‐regression
Henssler, J et al., December 2020.

Recommended by Evgeny Krupitsky, Russia: ´This review is important because it demonstrates that available evidence does not support abstinence as the only approach in the treatment of alcohol use disorder. Controlled drinking, particularly if supported by special psychotherapy, appears to be a viable option where an abstinence-oriented approach is not applicable.´

Adapting treatment length to opioid‐dependent individuals’ needs and preferences: A 2‐year follow‐up to a 1‐year study of extended‐release naltrexone
Solli, K.K et al., December 2020.

Recommended by Evgeny Krupitsky, Russia: ´This paper is important because it was demonstrated that extended-release naltrexone was well tolerated in long-term treatment of opioid dependent individuals.'

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Symptom Status in a Mixed Gender Population of Opioid-Maintained Prison Inmates
Silbernagl, M et al., Eur Addict Res, 2019.

Recommended by Gabriele Fischer, Austria.